Tolerance is not acceptance. This line speaks of the truth that minority and marginalized communities face today. Despite the efforts to celebrate diversity, genuine acceptance in society is still difficult to achieve. This is the reality that also confronts African American children up to this day. In response to this societal issue, Tená V. Baker pursued a brilliant idea of establishing an empowerment platform designed to help children see their potential while embracing identity.
Even Me Empowerment is a philanthropic organization founded by Tená, which aims to create a safe space for every African American child to explore their full potential by learning about their history in a holistic approach. The organization’s mission is to empower these children and young adults to explore the entirety of their history as well as to look into their self-identity to better understand their future.
The foundation seeks to provide the right skill set and tools necessary for healthy engagement and coping for those who are a part of the marginalized society. Some of these tools include techniques on self-affirmation, conflict resolution, self-discipline, empathy, and leadership.
Originally from Virginia, the curator and founder of this empowerment organization is a graduate of Pre-med Biology from Howard University. After, she began exploring psychological research at Georgetown University. She focused much on learning about emotions and culture as well as studies on academic achievement gaps. Simultaneously, she works as a flight attendant and has traveled to different parts of the world. Through this opportunity, she learned more about the belief and value systems of different societies.
Equipped with in-depth knowledge and understanding about societal issues from research and experience, she established her organization with the goal of empowering young adults to believe in themselves and transcend societal limitations. This is how the Even Me Empowerment foundation began.
Throughout the years, Tená has keynoted many speaking engagements, such as seminars, conferences, and other community events, where she has had the opportunity to reach out to and speak with marginalized groups. To pursue her goal of becoming an agent for social change for future generations, she is pursuing a master’s degree in social justice and community organizing at Prescott College. Recently, she also launched her first book on children empowerment.
In the future, one of her goals is to bring a significant change in the educational system by curating school curriculums that will be tailored fit to children coming from different cultures so as to explore their potential in different areas beyond where the children generally believe they can excel.
The Even Me Empowerment foundation is only a precursor of what Tená aims to achieve in the society as a whole. Ultimately, she envisions a world where no group is marginalized, no children bullied, and no self-esteem ruined merely because of their skin color. She strives to build a space where people fully embrace the diversity of individuals who are different from them—finally, a world where humanity is celebrated and not just tolerated.
To know more about Tená V. Baker and the Even Me Empowerment organization, please check out their official website.